02 SES 13 A, Partnerships for Lifelong Learning in Engineering and Technology Sectors - An Investigation of Integrated Learning Opportunities and Bridging Programs in Europe
Topic and Objectives
In recent years bridging programs and integrated learning opportunities such as dual study programs have become very popular in many European countries. Such cooperation schemes can be regarded as "partnerships for lifelong learning".
The proposed workshop will discuss these two models of cooperation between actors in vocational and higher education (institutions of technical and vocational education and training, companies providing in-company training, universities or polytechnics, chambers etc.) aiming at providing consistent and permeable educational pathways from initial training up to higher educational levels.
The project P4LLL-tec is supported by Erasmus + and investigates these two types of partnerships in five European countries, namely Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia and Spain. The research team will present its first findings in order to open up the discussion for other conference participants in this field of research. P4LLL-tec has only started in September 2015 but it is to be expected that first results based on a comprehensive desk research summing up relevant national policy backgrounds, as well as expert and stakeholder interviews in the participating countries will be available by the time of the ECER conference.
The described research refers to the area of technical professions in five European countries (Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia and Spain). These countries represent very different traditions of technical and vocational education and training that are as well based on diverse educational systems and structures. Whereas in Germany, partnerships of both types (integrated learning opportunities as well as bridging programmes) exist, there are examples of integrated learning opportunities in Latvia and Spain. In Greece and Ireland, it is possible to focus on bridging programmes. It is however intended to identify and to present examples of both types of partnerships in all five countries.
Workshop program and aims
The workshop aims at a debating the issues related to the successful organisation of integrated learning opportunities and bridging programmes in order to provide a more systematic knowledge base.
Among the key questions to be discussed during the workshop should also be the following:
- How can employers' interests in a qualified workforce be reconciled with the career aspirations of the learners? In other words: do bridging and integrated learning opportunities take the interests of all groups into account and serves the aims of education as well as employability?
- Will partnerships that connect VET and HE have a side effect that leads to a marginalisation of vocational learning?
The available evidence suggests that the value of VET as a learning pathway in its own right is compromised when it is associated with another qualification objective such as an academic degree. Learners in such programmes may consider VET merely as an inferior part of their tertiary qualification.
Provisional workshop program
1. Introduction into the topic: research within the Project P4LLL-tec (project background, aim, steps and methodological approach)- presented by project coordinators (10 Min)
2. Country contributions: country specific overview, first results of stakeholder or expert interviews, presentation of relevant cases presented by country representatives of the project team
a – Ireland (10-15 Min)
b – Latvia (10-15 Min)
c – Greece (10-15 Min)
d – Germany (10-15 Min)
e – external papers form other countries
(if applications from other conference participants apply to the topic)
3. Discussion (workshop participants and audience)
“Partnerships for lifelong learning in Europe: Towards greater permeability”: Cedefop study with the contract no. 2012-0176/AO/ECVL/ILEMO-LZAH/PartnershipsForLifelongLearning/010/12
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